Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Does Kate Play Enough? Do You?

Written by Saint

Comments and criticism about Kate had me thinking: did my mom play with me when I was a child? I consider my parents to be among two of the best. I can only look back on my childhood with respect and gratitude for my mother and father. I do not recall my mother ever "playing" with me when we were children. Nor do I remember my friends or neighbors' moms playing with us. When I was growing up, playing was the business of children, not adults.In fact, my dad was unusual because he would organize whiffle ball games or do silly things like Jon does with the Play Dough. My mom did not even supervise from a lawn chair. In fact, she was known on a rare occasion to deal with sibling rivalry and whining by sending us outside on a summer day, saying, "Get along," and locking the door! Maybe she didn't bother because we had a lot of siblings, though my friends from smaller families didn't have moms who played either.

I supervised my children (more than my parents supervised me) because of our hilly yard and the type of street we live on. Sometimes I'd garden, sometimes I'd push swings, but often I'd sit in a lawn chair and read or knit. I don't remember my kids complaining that I didn't "play enough" with them. I tried once to play Barbies with my oldest daughter. My Barbie was 'too authoritative' for hers, so she gently took it away. Instead, we bonded over books, cooking, gardening, shopping (for her, not me,) and doing her hair. She played dolls, Legos, "house," and "fort" with her friends, neighbors, and siblings, just as I did.

Do you play with your children? Do you supervise from a favorite perch? Did your mom play with you when you were growing up? Do you think Kate needs to play with the kids more, or do you think the activities they do are a good fit for their family?

48 comments:

Angie said...

My Mom was a stay at home mom and always played with my brothers and sisters and me. We used to make cookies and make cupcakes together. We would play games together and had plenty of fun.

Now that I have seven children we do the same things. My Mom comes over and we all have a fun time.

Kate needs to spend more time doing things with the kids. The kids are going to remember the fun times.

It seems like it's more important for Kate to travel, then to spend quality time with the kids. Now they have a babysitter that spends the majority of time with them. A babysitter is no substitute for a mother or father.

Bridget said...

Okay, I'll bite.

Do you play with your children? I have one eight year old, and I'll say, "Not as much as I should". It's not something I'm proud of because I think it's wonderful to see parents playing with their kids. I do things with her, cooking, homework, taking walks,reading, shopping, but actually playing, not enough. Yeah, some of my reasons are that I work full time and for a long time I was also a student. I come home around 7 pm on weeknights and by the time dinner, homework, shower, and chores are done, there is not alot of room for play time , which is a shame. My husband on the other hand, plays with her alot. They have a great time together, and it's so special to see them have that bond. I do have some guilt over this, because she is an only child (for now she's an only, I'm expecting another one). Sometimes when I'm cooking or trying to clean the house she says she doesn't want to play on her swingset by herself :(
On one hand I feel bad, on the other hand, she has always been excellent at entertaining herself, which is something I'm proud of.

Do you supervise from a favorite perch?
She has many friends that live on our street, so she doesn't suffer for playmates. If they're outside, I can easily supervise from the house. Same for inside the house. I usually don't join in the fun when she has friends over. She's getting to the age where that is considered weird. But I've noticed that the 5 and younger group still prefer to have their parents close by while at play, if not playing with them.

Did your mom play with you?
She did when I was younger. I have many happy memories of my mom dropping everything to roll around on the floor with me. As I got older, playing went to more doing things together, as opposed to playing with toys or on the swingset.

In terms of Kate playing, I see Jon as the more active, playful parent and Kate as the parent, who "does things" as opposed to playing. No harm in it. It's something the kids have long understood and it's something they'll appreciate about both parents.

Just an example, I can totally see my husband playing a sport with my daughter, where I would be more at home giving her a manicure for Spa Day. And my daughter likes both of these.

Good topic!

FIONA said...

My Mom was a great player. I made her be my friend Jenny! My Dad was the one who took us outside the most. We built a treehouse, rode horses and did puzzles.

I played alot with my daughter...Legos, coloring together, dress up, stuffed animal parties....WOW! I miss it.

I agree that Kate should play more with her kids. Have we ever seen her do that?

With my hubby and I we each had our own role so to speak in helping to entertain. Honestly, this is an area where I have no regrets.

FIONA said...

BTW

Good topic Saint!

MonicaW42 said...

I can't remember my mom playing with us kids when we were young. We did the girl things of cooking, reading, crocheting and artsy things. My dad was more of the one to play with us.

I played video games and board games with my son. I also did the educational things with him. The only time I actually "played" was in 1993 when he had the complete Jurassic Park playsets and he begged me to play that and I did.

Everyone is different, so I certainly don't judge Kate or anyone else for that matter.

Good topic Saint.

Too Funny said...

Funny you should mention this. My parents are the best too but no, they never played with me. Sure they would take me places and we'd talk here and there but play? Nope. It never happened. As the OP said, play was for the kids and we didn't depend on our parents to entertain us. The same went for my friends. ALL of them.

I remember my parents always kicking us out of the house when we were kids. lol They'd complain that we were inside too much and they wanted us to go out and play. Whether we had something to do or not. Anyway, they never played with me or my siblings and we turned out fine. We're not emotionally scared and we all have a great relationship to this day.

As for my own kid, I have played with him when he was smaller. Things like blocks, play-doh, etc. And now that he is a teen we do play trivia and board games together. And we talk all the time. But no, I didn't constantly play with him when he was smaller and he never complained about it either.

MommyZinger said...

I don't ever remember my mom playing with us but she worked night shift at a mental institution. I remember she always had headaches. We were never allowed playdough and we didn't have any craft supplies in the house. I longed for construction paper. I decided I would be different.

My kids have craft supplies and we make homemade playdough. In the summer we play tag, Duck, Duck, Goose etc. I am often the only mom playing on the playground with my kids. Other moms are perched or socializing with other mom. But I could be doing more educational activities with them. I spend way too much time on the internet.

It is my opinion that recently Kate has been out of town too much. I don't remember where but I saw a list of her speaking engagements and she was out of town one or two days a week. The show films for three or four days a week. She's been giving alot of interviews. And what about all the time she needs for correspondences to organize these appearances. PLus, I believe at the Penn State interview Jon stated that when Kate was home, she takes a lot of spa days. I just don't see where she would have time to have alone time with the kids.

So yes I think she needs to play with the kids more. But she's probably milking this popularity thing for all its worth to secure her family's financial future because she knows it can't last forever.

Too Funny said...

I don't think Kate can win no matter what she does. Plain and simple.

When they were just doing the show people complained that they never left the house. That they didn't work.

Now that Kate has been away working people complain she's never home to be with the kids. Nevermind the fact that ONE of them are usually ALWAYS home if the other is gone. How is that any different than many other homes?

We also heard, about the other house, how they had such a nice huge yard and how the kids should be allowed to run around in it and play.

So, they get a new house with a fenced in yard that they let the kids run around in and what happens? People complain that they ARE letting them run around. That it's too "dangerous." Oooohhhhh!

You can't have it both ways people.

Kuromi said...

I might catch heck for saying it, but... I think parents are too easily guilted into feeling that they don't "play enough."

My sister, who's divorced, said recently that after the usual weekend visit with Dad, her 5-year-old told her: "Mommy, you don't play with us as much as daddy does." She said she felt bad. But she also noted that she's the one doing daily care, and doctor/dentist visits (her ex doesn't want to have to take them to appointments during "his" time), and shuttle to daycare, and housecleaning, and scouring eBay for things they need... I can't believe she'd feel guilty for "not playing as much" when, clearly, she's doing what a parent is supposed to do--and what another parent is supposed to, too.

My parents "played" with us more when we were littler. I remember standing on my mother's lap as she tilted me down-and-up, down-and-up, though I was only 18 months old. As we got bigger, yeah, we sisters would play with each other or with friends in the neighborhood or from school. My parents would sometimes supervise--but since that usually meant they'd end the fun soon, I was alot happier when they didn't :) Seriously though, I think it would have been "weird" among any of my friends or neighbors for a parent to be too much of a playmate, rather than a supervisor. You hear experts and professional advice-givers say that parents are supposed to parent--they're not supposed to be the child's peer.

So don't feel guilty if you don't "play enough" with your kid. If you're busy doing the things that ensure your child's well-being, health, and safety, and manage to squeeze just a little playtime in, you're doing your job and then some!

Lizabeth said...

I love this topic, Saint! Well, as I've mentioned before, I have four brothers and my dad was a pastor who worked long hours. My mom did her best to spend time with us, but like Bridget mentioned it was more doing things with us than playing with us.

I am not a mom but when I was a nanny for 4 kids (7, 5, 3, and a baby) we would do crafts, play outside, make forts, etc. At the same time I feel kids need to learn how to entertain themselves instead of constantly be stimulated. When I spend time with my 16 month old nephew now we have great one on one play time with tennis balls or reading books, but he also enjoys just playing with his toy car (as he says Vroom) or talking to his stuffed animals.

I think that Kate does the best she can considering how many kids she has. It is easy for me to watch the show and say "Wow she does not play with them enough" but I have no idea if that is reality. I agree with Mommy Zinger that Kate is definitely branding herself and taking the work she gets now since she realizes this will not last forever. I remember in the Utah interview with Jon (I think) that he mentioned they work 3-4 days a week and that includes speaking engagements and interviews. If that is the case, then Kate being gone would be included in that time (so if she is gone 2 days and the camera is there one day when she is out of town and another when she is back, that would be all they did for the week). Makes sense to me, but who knows!

Kuromi, I like how you said: "So don't feel guilty if you don't "play enough" with your kid. If you're busy doing the things that ensure your child's well-being, health, and safety, and manage to squeeze just a little playtime in, you're doing your job and then some!" That is a great point which we should all be aware of-- providing for your family is a part of being a good parent, so while Kate may not be there all the time she is working hard to make sure her family can be secure and trying to provide through everything made available to her.

scarfoot said...

I don't remember my mother ever playing with me. She was always around, she was always doing activities with us, but not specifically playing.

I don't harbor any ill feelings about this, whatsoever. I'm not a mother yet, but I know there is a tremendous amount to do to keep things running. So it must be hard to carve that time in. I think that play is only one way of spending quality time together. I never felt slighted, or neglected.

As far as monitoring us at play, my mother says that she used to constantly watch us, but I don't remember that, either! I must have been too engrossed in whatever I was doing.

On a side note, I'd like to talk about play just for a moment. I am a teacher, and have been for some time. We were just discussing this at lunch today. I feel like this generation just doesn't play much anymore. My students are incredibly busy. They are picked up from school, they do their homework in the car on the way to some activity such as sports. They then eat dinner in the car on the way somewhere else, and are home by 9:00. It truly makes me sad. I just don't see my students eating dinner as a family, or having "down" time to be creative. I have such wonderful memories of playing with my sister. We rode bikes, we played "School" and "House," and board games. It's truly a shame to see children being so busy that they lose time to be creative, and time as a family.

OK, I'm off my soap box now!

Theresa said...

Too Funny...you hit the nail on the head. Right on.

I remember when we were younger we used to always be outside playing. Or, all the neighborhood kids would be at our house in our gameroom. Most often though we'd be out playing, literally from 11am-6pm (we should've got paid for it.LOL) We used to always play kickball or play Release in the woods near our house. Dinnertime came, Dad would whistle and we(my brothers, sister and I) would all come home.

Back then, it was a much simpler time. We lived in a close-knit neighborhood where everyone was friendly with everyone. There were no worries of today.

My mom was never outdoors playing with us. She was out there watching over us, but dad was the one playing kickball, softball, etc. with us.

Guinevere said...

My mother never played with us when I was a child. Kids played, and parents took care of kids and did adult things.

I don't think there's anything wrong with parents playing with their kids, but I certainly don't feel that I have the right to tell someone else that they SHOULD be doing it. Some parents are just adults - when they're grown up, they're grown up, and you aren't going to see them doing kid stuff. That doesn't mean they aren't good parents or don't do stuff with their kids.

If it would ever be an issue, I would think it would be perhaps in the case of an only child - then I could see maybe saying that the parents should try to play with their child a bit, so the child isn't so solitary or doesn't get lonely (of course, I also think the child should have friends of his or her own age to play with, but that's not always possible).

In a family like the Gosselins, I think it's safe to say that the kids have enough people to play with. I don't see it as some moral imperative that Kate play "Duck, Duck, Goose".

Eileen said...

I was very lucky,my Mom did play with us even though she was a mother of seven. I remember her as being so busy all the time with housework and tons of laundry (hung on the line outside to dry!), and she would spend hours ironing, our dining room table was always filled with neatly folded piles of clothes ready to be taken upstairs and put away before dinner. But she did take time to play with us, I remember her playing Barbie dolls with my sisters and me, and helping us with cut-outs, and she always took time to help my brothers make costumes for their school plays and she played board games with all of us, she colored with us, and she hated sports but if we needed her to pitch in for that she'd play then too.
With my own kids I was more of a "supervise from a lawn chair" mother as you described it, I sat back and watched them play and only once in awhile would I engage in their playtime.
I'm much different now with my grandkids though, I happily get down on the floor and play dolls, or cooking, or Spider Man, I get in the sandbox and the play pool with them, and I especially enjoy Play-Doh now which is something I dreaded my kids having! It makes me realize how much I missed out with my own kids growing up, I was a bystander, an onlooker in their childhood.
Thanks for bringing back some wonderful memories from my own childhood though.

SamanthaNC said...

My mom played with me before my siblings were born (not whining!), I was 7 before my little sister came along, and 10 when my brother was born. Once they came into the house chaos followed, my mom worked long hours, and there was always cooking/cleaning/laundry to be done.

When I was very small I remember inventing a game I called "Grown-up friends"- I had almost forgotten about it. Grown up friends was mostly played in the car when I had her trapped lol, I pretended to be a grown up, and we discussed VERY important things- and she had to use her grown up voice, not her "you're my little daughter" voice. I loved that game.

I feel that I dont play with my daughter enough and I feel do guilty about it. I played with her today, and I play with her a few times a week. She's an only child and I know she longs for playmates, I however always have something to do. She has to go to bed at 8, and between homework, making dinner, having dinner, cleaning up from dinner, baths, and tucking in- 8pm comes quickly. Is there ever enough time? I feel guilty about lots of things. Sigh. I love her with all my heart and she is cared and provided for and kept safe. I should probably relax :)

Too Funny said...

Yeah Samantha, you should relax. I'm sure she isn't wanting for anything. I think it's natural for all parents to have those feelings (of not doing enough) every once in a while.

Anya said...

Bridget said...I do have some guilt over this, because she is an only child (for now she's an only, I'm expecting another one).

Hey Bridget! Have you mentioned this before? In any case, congrats!
:-)

Anya said...

SamanthaNC said...When I was very small I remember inventing a game I called "Grown-up friends"- I had almost forgotten about it. Grown up friends was mostly played in the car when I had her trapped lol, I pretended to be a grown up, and we discussed VERY important things- and she had to use her grown up voice, not her "you're my little daughter" voice. I loved that game.

Oh, Samantha, what an adorable game and a sweet memory.

And I agree with Too Funny, go easy on yourself. (Spoken from another mom of one).

Quiltart said...

Theresa said... I remember when we were younger we used to always be outside playing. Or, all the neighborhood kids would be at our house in our gameroom. Most often though we'd be out playing, literally from 11am-6pm (we should've got paid for it.LOL) We used to always play kickball or play Release in the woods near our house. Dinnertime came, Dad would whistle and we(my brothers, sister and I) would all come home.
My my mom was a SAHM and she was always there for us.... a good thing since my dad traveled and was only home on weekends most of the time. I don't remember her playing with us, although she did teach us how to love books and how to knit and cook and one of my fondest memories is coming home from school and watching old movies on a snowy old black and white TV... (Growing up in NC in the 50's you had to take what you could when it come to TV!)

I lived in a great family neighborhood where all the kids played outside together... I have a great photo of my dad, who was over 6'2" and probably close to 250 lb jump roping in our driveway! We played soft ball and red rover and war... and whatever else was the current game of the moment... We were all welcome in each other's homes... My mom thought nothing of putting an extra plate on the table for whoever may have dropped in... even for breakfast on the way to school... we walked (ugh!) from 1st grade through high school.. or at least until I got my own car in 11th grade...

When I went to my 40th high school reunion a few years ago... (I'm an old mom...) most of these same neighborhood kids were there... we all found each other although we're living all over the country... and we spent the entire night talking and remembering how great it was to grow up when we did and where we did... I honestly don't remember any of our moms playing with us... They were the moms doing their mom things. We were the kids... and that was fine with me!

Bella Donna said...

My parents didn't "play" with me a lot, but I didn't feel they needed to. I guess I never thought of it as a child. they had 6 kids and by the time I was 6, they were already having grandchildren. I was expected to play with kids my own age, or by myself, and I was totally fine with that. But we did other things that I recall fondly.

My dad was the one that taught me how to play baseball. He was also the one that got me into watching pro football & baseball, and I recall many Thanksgivings, Sundays & Monday nights watching the games with him. He would let me stay up late Mondays if the Vikings were on, lol.

Every Friday & Saturday morning in the summer, my mom would wake me up early & take me to garage sales. She'd buy bags & bags of stuff for us kids. After we'd go out for lunch. I would also help her cook & bake, and take care of my nieces when they were babies.

I don't think I was deprived. My childhood wasn't perfect & my parents had their faults. But they did the best they could.

My kids are older now (11 & almost 15, yikes!). When they were little, I played with them. Not every time they asked, but they were played with. Now that they're older, we do things like board games, shopping, garage sales (My daughter loves them. My son, not so much), movies, and talking. It's nice that even at their ages, they will still curl up on the couch & cuddle with their mom, so I must be doing something right :)

As far as Kate, I would see her being less likely to "play" but she still seems to be a hands on mom, IMO.

Nina Bell said...

I too feel like I have great parents and had a great childhood. I grew up in the 60s and graduated from high school in the 70s. Those were great times.

My mother never once played with us however those were different times. Big families with a lot of community involvement. I probably would have been embarrassed if my mother attempted to play with us.

I played with my kids quite a bit. I only had two and they were four years apart. They had quite a few neighborhood friends but would still come and get me quite a bit to be the 5th man on their basketball team or the 1st baseman on their baseball team ( I sucked at every other position but I could hit the hell out of the ball.) I loved it. But that was me.

There were no other moms out their playing. I never thought twice about it. I am sure they spent time with their kids in ways I probably didn't and I am sure I felt guilty about. It all balances out.

The Gosselin children have quite a few siblings to interact with and play with. I am sure they appreciate and will appreciate the things that Kate does as their mother and provider.

Congratulations Bridget.

Saint said...

Scarfoot,
A big "Amen" from me about how busy kids are today. You should get back on that soapbox and submit a post about it. It's a very good topic, and as a teacher you have a great perspective.

Linda said...

I'm the youngest of 8 kids and I do remember our mom playing with us. Specifically I remember her playing board games, checkers, house, and Barbies.
As a mom myself this is especially remarkable given all the work she did to keep our household running.

My mom was particularly creative in sometimes getting help when she had fallen behind on the laundry. As you can imagine, with 8 kids getting behind was easy to do. Somehow my mom would persuade some of the kids that it would be fun to play "laundromat" so she could get little kids to help her fold laundry. She would pretend that she was the "owner" or that she was a "customer" and would take on some flamboyant personality to entertain us.

I also remember how she would persuade us and our friends to rake leaves by saying that it was time for us to make a leaf village or leaf piles to jump in.

As kids, we played outside for hours upon hours from Spring through Fall. We rode bikes. We played tag. We ran through the neighborhood. We built forts. In the Summer, we played in the sprinkler. We were told that we needed to come home "when the street lights came on." We obediently complied. In the Winter we went sledding and played in the snow.

=================

As a mom of two, I play with my kids. I play basketball, ride bikes, and also occasionally persuade them to join me jogging. In the winter months, we play board games. We also sometimes play Wii -- although I restrict how often they can use it.

I savor these moments with my kids because I know that all too soon they will be choosing time with friends over time with us.

Our house is the house in the neighborhood where the kids seem to congregate. It makes more work for us but I'd rather have it be that way than any other way.

==================

scarfoot mentioned something that I struggle with. I notice that a lot of parenting that is done today is what I call "parenting though activities." I know families where each child is in a different activity each day of the week. Other kids don't even venture outside because they are tethered to their electronic games.

I think that there are a lot of decision-making skills, negotiation skills, compromising skills that are gained by children from participating in spontaneous play. However, I know that many parents have real concerns and fears (some rational and some overblown) about child abduction that my parents didn't have to contend with.

Another thing that we struggle with is the amount of homework our kids have. My children have lots of homework. They always have. I don't object to it entirely because I know that the demands that students and teachers face to pass state tests require it.

marci said...

I've certainly played with my son, although it's not an everyday event. Getting down on the ground with him when he was really little was probably when a new toy or activity was being introduced and I'd show him the "basics" of how to work things and then let him on his own from there to develop his own imagination and skills.

We read together constantly before he could read himself and he's always been a willing "helper" with whatever activity mom and dad happened to be doing.

What I value most in my relationship with him has been our ability to be silly together. I think being able to joke with your parents and see them being silly has helped him develop a pretty good sense of humor and he's able to laugh at himself as well....a valuable asset with puberty approaching.

Bridget said...

Anya and Nina,
Thanks for the congrats! No, I haven't mentioned it, yet. I'm excited to have you all around to share this experience with. This blog is great :)

Last night, after I posted, my daughter and I went on a walk. It was an unusually nice night for February in Michigan. This topic made me think about spending more time playing and just being silly with my daughter. So, we just hung out and were goofy last night. It was fun :)

Lizabeth said...

Ack I have catching up to do! Bridget, congratulations!! It was indeed gorgeous here in Michigan yesterday. I took two walks with my nephew- one to the local post office and the other just around. At one point I put him down to stand on the driveway and his eyes got really big then he grinned at me and started just walking back and forth. He was not walking back in the fall, so he has never had so much space to just explore!!

I agree with the posters who mention how different childhood is now than it was before. When I was a kid my brothers and I would spend hours in our sandbox, or making forts in the garage with moving boxes (we moved a lot). Now kids have so many activities that there are times they are unable to just play and enjoy themselves. I think its really great how Jon and Kate mentioned their kids being involved in what they want to be involved in. Seems like otherwise there is just so much to do, and no time to just be.

themrs said...

i tend to be the parent who does crafts and projects with the kids and my husband is the one who plays outside, builds forts, etc. the nice thing about having four kids who are close together is that they entertain each other. OP mentioned how over scheduled and busy kids are today. we decided that we're not doing extracurricular activities yet for that reason. my kids come home from school each day and have lots of down time. but you can't believe the pressure i get from other moms that none of my kids are in sports. it's ridiculous. worry about your own kids, LOL! when i was a kid i don't ever remember my parents playing with me but i do remember that my grandma always did! i would go to her house and she would play with me the whole time i was there. i loved it. we also used to play the grown up game. i loved that grandma talked to me like an adult instead of a little girl :)

as far as kate is concerned, i can't really say if she plays with her kids enough since i only see a portion of her life. i also know that when they are filming they most likely have an agenda for her to follow.

MoreCowbell said...

"Mommy, you don't play with us as much as daddy does." She said she felt bad. But she also noted that she's the one doing daily care, and doctor/dentist visits (her ex doesn't want to have to take them to appointments during "his" time), and shuttle to daycare, and housecleaning, and scouring eBay for things they need... I can't believe she'd feel guilty for "not playing as much" when, clearly, she's doing what a parent is supposed to do--and what another parent is supposed to, too.

Amen. Too often, Dad is seen as the playmate, while Mom gets to do the grunt work. Too many times, it makes Dad seem like the "fun parent." Well, of course he is! He isn't there to handle the crappy part of the job!

While the "advocates" like to rip on Jon for "not having a job," I beg to differ. He's doing more for his kids by staying home and sharing the parenting duties with his wife than he would if he was still working as an IT specialist, gone for 12 hours a day.

My parents never "played" with me. And you know what? I'm not close to them now. At all. In contrast, my son and I are very close because I DID play with him, as well as coach his soccer teams, and be Little League mom in charge of fund raising candy sales, and coach the girl cheerleaders for his rocket football teams, and be a score keeper for his basketball games. And you know what? My uninvolved parents CRITISIZED me for it, saying I was "too involved." Well, you know what? My son is still around. I, on the other hand, couldn't get out of my parents house fast enough once I graduated from high school. Yes, it took me longer to get my college degree because I had to pay for everything myself, so I worked and went to school, but it was worth it in the long run. When my son came along, I swore I was not going to repeat my parent's mistakes and I didn't.

Dr. H said...

My daughter is still young, only 18 months, but we try to play with her a little every day. I read in the Happiest Toddler on the Block book (lol, I'm afraid of screwing up my kid) that sometimes when kids are doing stuff they know they aren't supposed to, taking 5-10 minutes and giving them attention by playing with them can re-direct them. It works okay for us. I like to play legos with her and to color sometimes. Oh, and she loves when I throw the ball and she gets to 'fetch' it, lol.

OT- I'd like a thread about discipline, because I need all the parenting advice I can get about that right now!

PKD-in-Illinois said...

Well, I'll tell you ... I'm usually one of the first to pick on Kate ... but I won't on this one.

Yes, my Mom played with me. She did everything with me from board games to barbies to card games.

BUT ... and this is a big but ...

First off, she was a SAHM. Secondly, I was an only child and I was the only grandchild on one side of the family. There really weren't any other cousins or family to play with.

So, I would entertain myself ... but when I said I was lonely or asked her to play, she would stop everything and get out the cards or play Atari with me. It was a really good childhood.

Having said that, I don't judge Kate on this topic because she has SO many kids. There must be SO much more laundry ... SO much more cooking ... in comparison to our little family of three when I was growing up, her life is unimaginable to me.

Now yes ... you can argue that she doesn't work anymore and has help around the house ... but I'm just saying that in this case, I don't equate my childhood with theirs because it's apples and oranges.

Beth said...

My parents did not get down on the floor and play with us. They certainly did things like play the piano with us, cook with us, read books etc. But they didn't play dolls, build with blocks, color, make art projects etc. And they certainly didn't play outside with us.

I do play with my kids. I am the kind of my that likes to get down on the floor and build towers, pretend we are a marching band, do art projects weekly if not daily etc. I also love to play in the sandbox, make snow angels, and go on nature walks.

That being said, I wish that there were more hours in the day and that I had more hands! As much as I do play with my kids, I always feel that I could do more! There are household chores that DO need to get done and done on a daily basis and I know that takes time away from playing with my kids.

From what they show us on the show, it does seem to me that Kate does not play with the kids. They have shown her "play" a few times but honestly I can only recall maybe 1 or 2 times (playdough outside and reading a book in the old garage). I am sure that she does play with them but they definetly don't show it much on the show.

I do hope that she does play with them! They are only little for so long!

Anya said...

Dr. H said...OT- I'd like a thread about discipline, because I need all the parenting advice I can get about that right now!

Great idea! We will do something on this soon...

GLO said...

I think that fact that this is an issue is most definitely a sign of the times and not necessarily a good sign. No one would have made this an issue fifty, forty, or even twenty years ago.

We have become a more kid-centric society, and this has not necessarily been the best for our children. Yes, children should be a priority, but not at the expense of the parent, marriage, or family as a whole. One's life should not revolve around one's children to the exclusion of everything else.

As a teacher, I see so many students who are under the misconception that the world owes them. They feel entitled to anything and everything they want because their parents have raised them that way. Mom and dad have always made the children's wants first priority, and they have always dropped everything to do for their children. This sets the kids up for a rude awakening when they go out into the world and find that they are not the center of the universe.

Now, I am not saying that playing with one's children will result in a egocentric, entitled teenager. I play everyday with my 11-month-old baby, and we really enjoy it. IMO, the role of a good parent is not to entertain one's child, but to make sure that child is warm, fed, safe, and healthy. The rest is icing on the cake.

scarfoot said...

As a teacher, I see so many students who are under the misconception that the world owes them. They feel entitled to anything and everything they want because their parents have raised them that way. Mom and dad have always made the children's wants first priority, and they have always dropped everything to do for their children. This sets the kids up for a rude awakening when they go out into the world and find that they are not the center of the universe.

I couldn't agree with this more. I have issues weekly with parents arguing because their child turned in assignments a week late, and yet the parents want them to receive no consequences. I get tired of being the "bad guy" but that's how you learn responsibility.

I live very close to a university, and know many professors. I have been hearing many, many stories about parents calling the professors and demanding a grade change, insisting that the professor tell them information about their child's grade, etc. These are not even "children!" They are legal adults.

It truly worries me to see some of the things that are happening with children in this generation. However, there are some amazing parents out there, and some wonderful things happening as well. I just see some frightening trends.

Annie said...

Glo and scarfoot:
I couldn't agree more! I'm also a teacher of "tween", middle school and I see the same things:kids who don't know how to entertain themselves beyond video games, kids who feel entitled to have the world and adults around them entertain them; kids who expect everything, including learning dates and facts "fun" as if its a requirement.

I (hopefully) will be a mom soon (through adoption) and have been reading and thinking about what kind of parent I want to be. Yes, I want to be involved and play, but I also want to foster an independent, curious spirit in my kid(s) so they feel confident in exploring their world.

I don't want to do everything for them, solve all their problems, you know? I want them to learn to "fail" and fix it, move on and learn.

Saint said...

I want them to learn to "fail" and fix it, move on and learn.

This was so hard to do at first! It's so critical, though. I am sometimes proudest when my kids don't succeed but handle it well, anyway. They feel confident knowing they don't have to be perfect, too.

Ohio Mom said...

No, my parents didn't play with me as a child, but my parents were also very dysfunctional which is why when I was raising my two boys my husband and I played with them alot. Many a time I pushed a swing, played catch, played touch football, watched them ride bikes outside, read books, listened to music, played board games. I have many fond memories of in the winter time playing outside in the snow, building snow forts (it was Mom, boys agains Dad), hooking their sleds up to our big dog (who loved the snow) and throwing a tennis ball so the dog will chase it and watching my boys laugh with glee as they slid along in the snow. Swimming in the summertime in a small pool (yes, I was in the pool w/them and not sitting watching them), I even got my hair wet. My sons now are 25 and 19 and if you ask them they will make a joke how I was too much hands on and always in their lives.... Their Dad and I are divorced, but I still have a very strong relationship w/both my boys. I also worked f-t when doing these activities w/my boys. You can find the time to not just sit in a chair and "watch" your kids play. You can get down and sit on the floor w/them, take walks w/them, take them to the park. Kate needs to stop writing books and play and spend more time w/her kids. This is such a crucial age for them and she is missing out on alot. Jon even said it that the babysitter is the one that plays w/them. No, Mom & Dad should sit down and play w/them. Play a board game w/them, Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, anything. Right now they are more interested in securing their money fortune instead of caring for the kids. The big house in PA, condo in Utah, fancy free trips, free appliances, free furniture... Stop idolizing the supporting these two people. Pray for the children, they really need our thoughts and prayers.

Ohio Mom said...

Oh and one more comment. Last Friday night I went to the movies with my 19 year old son and his friend and we had a great time. Laughing, joking. I teased them that how pitiful it is that I have a date w/2 19 year olds and they said that they are the pitiful ones out on Friday night w/ Mom. Each boy at the end of the evening gave me a hug and my son said he loved me. I told my boys every night when they went to bed I love them and every time I see them or talk to them on the phone we end the conversation w/ I love you mutually. I'm not sure I've see Jon or Kate say at bedtime or nap time they love them.

ruthy said...

My mom played with us all of the time. She could color the best, fix my Barbie's hair just right and did a lot of fun things with us.

I enjoy doing things with my 3 and 10 year old. I have learned to play video games because that is my 10 year olds favorite thing to do.

My three year old loves crafts and we do two new ones each day.

I think Kate assumes that the tups can entertain each other and so she doesn't need to be as involved.

Anya said...

Ohio Mom said...You can find the time to not just sit in a chair and "watch" your kids play. You can get down and sit on the floor w/them, take walks w/them, take them to the park. Kate needs to stop writing books and play and spend more time w/her kids. This is such a crucial age for them and she is missing out on alot. Jon even said it that the babysitter is the one that plays w/them. No, Mom & Dad should sit down and play w/them. Play a board game w/them, Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, anything. Right now they are more interested in securing their money fortune instead of caring for the kids. The big house in PA, condo in Utah, fancy free trips, free appliances, free furniture... Stop idolizing the supporting these two people. Pray for the children, they really need our thoughts and prayers.

Ohio Mom, sounds like you have a great relationship with your kids and you should be justly proud.

I am going to say something I (and others) have said before: there is not just ONE correct way to parent. Each parent and child relationship is completely unique. Parents are just human beings so it is natural that we will bring our strengths and weaknesses to that role. Perhaps Kate isn't really good at the silly rolling-around-on-the-floor with the kids stuff. That's ok. She is not required to be perfect (as thankfully none of us are) in order to parent. Luckily, she has other strengths she can bring to her role as a mom.

Also, the book writing and appearances are part of her job. You indicated you worked full-time too so I think you can appreciate that working to support your children is also a pretty important responsibility and sometimes as much as we would like to be with our children, we have to be away from them in order to fulfill our responsibilities.

Guinevere said...

No, my parents didn't play with me as a child, but my parents were also very dysfunctional which is why when I was raising my two boys my husband and I played with them alot.

I think if you read the initial blog entry as well as the comments that preceded yours, you'll find many examples of families where parents not playing with the kids did not equal "dsyfunctional household". I would venture to guess that the opposite is true, as well - I'm sure there are families where the parents play with the kids but are dsyfunctional in other ways.

Many a time I pushed a swing, played catch, played touch football, watched them ride bikes outside, read books, listened to music, played board games. I have many fond memories of in the winter time playing outside in the snow, building snow forts (it was Mom, boys agains Dad), hooking their sleds up to our big dog (who loved the snow) and throwing a tennis ball so the dog will chase it and watching my boys laugh with glee as they slid along in the snow. Swimming in the summertime in a small pool (yes, I was in the pool w/them and not sitting watching them), I even got my hair wet. My sons now are 25 and 19 and if you ask them they will make a joke how I was too much hands on and always in their lives.... Their Dad and I are divorced, but I still have a very strong relationship w/both my boys. I also worked f-t when doing these activities w/my boys.

You seem very, very proud of the job you did as a mother. Good for you.

You can find the time to not just sit in a chair and "watch" your kids play. You can get down and sit on the floor w/them, take walks w/them, take them to the park.

Kate has done those things on the show. She may very well do them off camera as well. As for watching v. participating, I just don't see it as a moral imperative. I stated in a previous comment, there are 8 kids - I don't think any of them are lacking for playmates. And again, there are plenty of examples that have been given of families where the parents did not play with the kids and the kids still grew up happy and healthy.

Sigh. I hate that this is becoming yet ANOTHER thing that women judge other women on. I realize that it stems from insecurity, that these women who boast loudly of what great mothers they are and how so-and-so is not a good mother because she doesn't do x are really just using their judgment as a way to make themselves feel better about their choices. But it's distressing nonetheless. Why can't we build ourselves up without tearing someone else down?

Kate needs to stop writing books and play and spend more time w/her kids. This is such a crucial age for them and she is missing out on alot.

With all due respect, you really have no idea about the truth of this statement. You don't know how much time she spends with the kids, and you don't know what she is or isn't missing out on. She is working, and like a lot of working mothers she cannot be with her kids 24/7.

Jon even said it that the babysitter is the one that plays w/them. No, Mom & Dad should sit down and play w/them. Play a board game w/them, Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, anything.

Again, you don't know that they don't. Why is it not enough for you to be so very proud of the way you raised your kids - why must you also insist that other parents who don't do it exactly the way you did are wrong or bad parents?

Right now they are more interested in securing their money fortune instead of caring for the kids. The big house in PA, condo in Utah, fancy free trips, free appliances, free furniture...

They are interested in securing their kids' financial future. The "big house in PA" is for the kids. The condo is a rumor, the free appliances and furniture are just made-up/speculation unless you know something I don't. The "fancy free trips" have by and large included the kids. You are assigning the worst possible motivations for every action of J&K and in doing so revealing your bias.

Stop idolizing the supporting these two people. Pray for the children, they really need our thoughts and prayers.

I've not seen anyone who idolizes J&K. It is not as if the only two options are to either idolize J&K or despise them. It's possible for some people to have mixed feelings, or fall somewhere on the spectrum between "like" and "dislike".

Guinevere said...

Oh and one more comment. Last Friday night I went to the movies with my 19 year old son and his friend and we had a great time. Laughing, joking. I teased them that how pitiful it is that I have a date w/2 19 year olds and they said that they are the pitiful ones out on Friday night w/ Mom. Each boy at the end of the evening gave me a hug and my son said he loved me. I told my boys every night when they went to bed I love them and every time I see them or talk to them on the phone we end the conversation w/ I love you mutually. I'm not sure I've see Jon or Kate say at bedtime or nap time they love them.

We don't see everything. I'm not sure if you're assuming that J&K don't tell their kids they love them or that they don't love them, but I think they act lovingly towards them and I also know that the cameras aren't on all the time. I don't think we usually see bedtime so we wouldn't know what their ritual is there.

There are a lot of virtues parents can teach their children. It just depends on your values. I, for instance, value modesty. YMMV.

Too Funny said...

I love how if we don't see family or friends on the show people automatically ASSUME that the Gosselns don't associate with them or have any. I know for me personally, if a family member or friend had their own TV show I would NOT want to be on it. However, that does not mean that I wouldn't still visit them, go out with them when they aren't filming, etc. These complainers think that, just because these people aren't on the show for whatever reason, that they don't exist or that the Gosselins somehow don't have contact with them. That's foolish to think like that.

There are MANY other instances where people ASSUME thing just because something isn't often shown on the show like:

J&K don't tell their kids they love them
J&K don't play with them
J&K, or one or the other, don't spend time with the kids

......this list could go on forever!

We don't see them fart on TV either but I'm willing to bet that they do it. Good God! As I always say, for people who claim to not watch or like the show they sure as heck know so much about it. Rather I should say, they THINK they know a lot. More times than not they get stuff wrong.

And again, I love how the complaint before was, that neither J or K work. People said they needed to "get out there" and "work" and show the kids that both parents can't always be home with them because, in their opinion, both parents being home together "wasn't what happens in real world." So, now Kate has been off working like everyone wanted and expected her to do and all of a sudden people say she is a bad mom and gone too much? HUH? That just proves they just like to complain because, they got what they wanted and yet they still aren't happy.

They also b*tched that they wanted to see more shows of them at home doing normal every day stuff instead of jet setting off across the country. So, they do that and what happens? People complain the show was too boring. lol They can't win. I seriously think they didn't like the woods shows because Kate wasn't in it as much. And, regardless of what they say, I secretly think they LOVE when she is on the show and shown often.

And finally, as I also mentioned before, people complained before that the kids never got to run around and enjoy their yard. Well now that they have one that's more secure (i.e., fenced in) and they are doing just that, people are b*tching that they are left to run around on their own. PEOPLE, YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS!

FIONA said...

Too Funny,

I truly enjoyed this last show and was surprised at how many of Kate's fan's did not like it.

We saw 4 year olds being 4 year olds. We saw the gamut of emotions, and each kid's unique personality.

We saw Jon doing a pretty good job parenting, (I thought)...I didn't see anything too rough, such as Alexis' cowering as has been mentioned by the conspiracists. ;)

I think Kate's fan's didn't like it because she wasn't in it and they missed that. There are alot of people who look up to Kate, look to her as a role model, so if Kate's isn't in the show it probably won't be too enjoyable for them. Opposite works for me tho, I like it when Kate isn't in the shows. Such is life.

But as they say, she is away working, and quite frankly I think it is a good arrangement for the kids and Jon...at least as good as it seems to gonna be.

Ohio Mom said...

Thank you for all your comments regarding my post. I am not pertaining to being "Super Mom". But, now that J & K produce some shows you would think they would portray themselves more positively as in the earlier days of the show. I would cringe if I saw how I was being portrayed. This last episode just irked me. i'm sure Kate was tired, but to sit so far away and distance from Jon. They were just not that into each other that night and if I felt that way I would do the interview segment another time. Please check out the body language. You take away a stick from a 4-year-old you don't make a point of breaking it in half in anger... I'm not saying that J & K have a dysfunction family I stated that I came from a very dysfunctional family which has scarred my sister and I to this day. When you lived the childhood I had you can comment on that.

Nancy said...

Nope, my mom did not "play" with me, although Grandma read to me and played dominoes and taught me to crochet, and Mom read to me, taught me to sew, and let me "help" in the kitchen. Dad taught me to ride a bike. None of my caregivers actually PLAYED, though. Playing was for kids to do with each other. My cousins' parents didn't play with them, and neither did my friends' parents. I did things with my kids when they were little but didn't "play" with them a lot.I don't think Kate is wrong for not "playing" with her kids more than she does.
I like that Jon doesn't mind being a SAHD. He seems to be a pretty good dad and the kids seem to love him very much.

Maria said...

My mom did not play with me, my dad did sometimes. I am 40 years old, I have a 9 yr old girl and 5 yr old boy. I will play a board game most days, or play Wii bowling, or do her doll's hair, but for the most part, I feel that she should go out and play with neighborhood friends/her brother. My 5 year old son is a very dedicated lego enthusiast, and usually spends his play time building things or playing outside in the yard. The neighborhood kids often put together all-ages soccer and whiffleball games, which I love. I will sit on the stoop and watch, sometimes I'll pitch or help the smaller kids.
All in all, I have noticed that some kids whose parents constantly play with them seem to have trouble being alone or finding ways to entertain themselves. I think it's great for parents to interact with their kids all day--talk to them, give them guidance on things to do, provide crafts supplies, make sure they are supervised, etc, but I really don't think it's my role to be the "playmate."

Anya said...

Maria said...All in all, I have noticed that some kids whose parents constantly play with them seem to have trouble being alone or finding ways to entertain themselves. I think it's great for parents to interact with their kids all day--talk to them, give them guidance on things to do, provide crafts supplies, make sure they are supervised, etc, but I really don't think it's my role to be the "playmate."

Good point. I agree being present and available is more important than actively participating in games with your children. If that's your thing and you enjoy it, wonderful, but as long as a parent is available to supervise or provide guidance (even if one's butt is firmly planted in a white plastic chair LOL), I think you are doing just fine...